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Branson In the Spotlight: Americana Theatre

A Series by Discover Branson

4 minute read

Americana Theatre is the venue that many of Branson’s most popular shows call home. Currently appearing here are C.J. Newsom’s Classic Country and Comedy; Awesome 80s; Elvis: Story of a King; America’s Top Country Hits; The Best of Motown and More; Broadway to Bublé Starring George Dyer; Classic Rock Icons; British Invasion; and their newest production, Once Upon a Fairytale. With a breath of shows as multifaceted as these, guests will surely find entertainment that exceeds expectations and delights all audiences. 

Discover Branson had the opportunity to sit down with Matthew Boyce to discuss his various roles at Americana Theatre. Boyce attended college in Albany, New York where he studied musical theater. When Boyce first arrived in Branson, he began apprenticing under Chris Newsom, Americana Theatre’s general manager, as well as working at King’s Castle Theatre and Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Theater. Additionally, Boyce performs as Johnny Cash in Million Dollar Quartet at Shepherd of the Hills and plays drums in a few other Branson shows. Currently at Americana Theatre, Boyce performs in Elvis: Story of a King, Awesome 80s, and Once Upon a Fairy Tale, among other shows.

Boyce highly values the versatility he has been able to practice through a wide variety of shows, as well as undertaking many roles across the spectrum of live entertainment. From production to performance, Boyce is a frequent contributor in creative and technical decisions. Collaboration is a key factor at Americana Theatre, as Boyce explains, “[The show runners] take ideas from people like me, our music director, Josh, and other cast members, and we work together to really make these great projects.” Making the production of its shows a joint effort facilitates greater artistic freedom at Americana Theatre. 

Boyce’s passion for music began in childhood when he discovered the body of work and performative stylings characteristic of Elvis Presley; this introduction was something that would guide Boyce’s career as a performer. Part of Elvis’s widespread appeal is his eclectic collection of music. Boyce discusses Elvis’s enduring popularity, saying, “You’ll get people [that like] Elvis’s gospel stuff…we cater to his country side, his soft side, his rock, his hard stuff, his Vegas stuff. I think especially with the Elvis movie coming out, that really brings a whole new generation.” Boyce continues by sharing his own observation of this revived interest in Elvis, saying, “You see the kid that comes up dressed in the jumpsuit, and I’m like ‘That reminds me of me!’ I make a point to try to bring them up on stage, help us out with a song.” Recognizing these parallels affirms the homage that Boyce extends to Elvis, as well as deepens the performative impact on the audience. 

Boyce is from Upstate New York and made frequent appearances across New England and Northeast Canada before making the move to perform in the Ozarks. Branson is a unique place that connects the great outdoors with great entertainment. When asked what he likes about living in Branson, Boyce says, “I grew up near a lake. I really feel at home [and] there are a lot of similarities. I can look out and see grass and trees. I love being in a place where I can practice my craft.” Boyce exudes a great deal of gratitude for the opportunities that have been provided to him in Branson. He discusses his decision to move to Branson and the fruitful outcome of this transition, saying, “You hustle, and you can make it work. I was like, ‘Hey, I really think this is going to be the place for me.’” With undeniable talent and perseverance, Boyce has undoubtedly established himself in the Branson theater industry. 

The shows at Americana Theatre have received a considerable amount of praise from both visitors and locals. Boyce says, “Over the past couple years, we’ve won a lot of accolades for Elvis [such as] best new show, best matinée show, things like that. Last year [we were recognized] at the Branson Show Awards [and] Best of Branson.” He continues by saying, “Awesome 80s has been doing great with TripAdvisor and Facebook reviews, and that’s been great with families. And of course, [C.J. Newsom’s Classic Country and Comedy] won best show in Branson last year. [We all] work so hard to see [our] shows succeed.” 

For showtimes at Americana Theatre, Discover Branson has you covered. We have the best deals on tickets to Branson shows and attractions, as well as vacation packages to lighten the logistical load of your vacation! Contact our travel experts by phone or online to see how you can make your visit to the Ozarks the trip of a lifetime.

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